MEMORIES FROM THE MOORS

A SANTHARIAN GHOST STORY

 
Lurking in the Mists   
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Introduction. Memories are the past’s tapestries, right? But are they always what they seem? Can you be sure what they really mean? They might be enlightening or deceiving, yet in both ways thoughts and feelings are revealing: what one was, what one is, even what one is gonna be. So follow our tale then about the winding paths of memories. It leads into the moors for you to see – but beware: horror here is told through poetry.

 

ho are they? What are they seeking? I wonder.

Where might they be going? Isn’t there any way of knowing?

About all those things I ponder.

Yet all I can feel are memories, all those memories...

Memories, memories...

...of a dark, cloudy sky, mountains, and of waterfalls, houses, people, all sorts of those flying by... standing on the wayside, walking, running, working, waving, greeting... flying by, flying by... time's too short for stopping, tarrying, meeting...

Memories, so many memories...

...of that rhythm of tortured wheels chasing through cobbled streets... between rolling hills, on rutty roads, into villages, bustling towns, past shrines, alongside sacred grounds... squeak... squeak... the carriage incessantly creaks.... tack-tack-a-tackaty-tock... tack-tack-a-tackaty-tock, the horses leisurely trot... then suddenly they burst into the wildest gallop... wapush... driven by the cracking of a whip... tackaty-tock... tackaty-tock... wapush... through the forest, past the trees....

Memories... Memories...

...of twigs brushing, scratching like claws against the door… of a trunk breaking loose, rumbling and careering about the cabin floor... noises, noises, everywhere noises... wind whispering, thunder rolling, so many of nature’s daunting voices… tackaty-tock... tackaty-tock... wapush... so goes the whip… there’s the driver’s coarse yell, the thunder’s again booming, then a roaring swell... wapush... wapush... the carriage rocks back and forth in constant strain… there goes the whip, again, again…

Memories...

…of the carriage skidding, spinning, swerving along... a bump, a jerk, a yank, a jolt... and then with a final squeak it’s gone, that tortured creaking rhythm – and takes the changing images with’em... just one remains as the carriage comes to rest and silence spreads: the trees outside, the cabin door, the trunk there on the cabin floor... for a brief moment silence falls, silence... silence... just one soundless moment in midst of eternity… though pregnant it feels, full with premonition, dread... it’s followed by the coachman’s shouts: “Flee! Oh, by the Twelve, just flee!”...

One of many memories, followed by a memory...

...of a deep, dark shadow, doom descending from the skies, with ragged wings spreading… something giant, overwhelming, deadly in size... frantic horses neighing, the carriage swaying, the coachman shrieking, cussing, praying... a violent thud, a thump, a horrid roar, a hollow bang… wood's splintering, a deafening crash... branches piercing through the cabin’s side, glass in a thousand pieces smashed...

Memories... unrelenting memories... bare of prospects, questions, reveries... just ruthlessly recurring memories...

...of tumbling, falling, stumbling, crawling... out, out... "Leave!"... leave the chaos, pandemonium, the terror from above behind... footsteps, footsteps… hurried footsteps... scampering, desperately racing over gnarled roots, trudging through the underbrush... away, away, so goes the beat of escaping boots... from death and demons those footsteps rush...

Memories...

...of distraught shrieks, of heavily beating wings dying away... sounds drowning in the distance, and with the noises so goes the fray, forever enwrapped in the cloak of the night... footsteps, footsteps… further, further, into the unknown... guided by the moon’s incandescent brilliant light, mist-shrouded, eerie, ever so bright... onwards, into the woods now, the thicket, the dark, the obscure, onwards past specters and shadows, deep, deep down into the moors...

Memories, memories...

...of ghostly shapes, unearthly phantoms fluttering in the breeze... of wafts drifting, circling, ever shifting over scattered grasses, moldy pools and withered trees… everything's submerged in melancholy, aye, it has soaked this place for decades, even centuries... now to be disrupted by hissing, wheezing, frantic mumbling... brittle wood lies all around, decaying, upon the slightest touch now crumbling… the fresh twigs are cracking, snapping... and so the race goes on, the swamp along... into the mud, through leafy, mossy, mushy grounds... coated by earthen odor, up it goes, up that slanting, slippery, shaky mound...

Memories...

...of owls cackling, crickets chirping, frogs croaking… and there, all of a sudden emerging from its marshy lair: faint, soft orbs of light, gently they are floating… orbs, flickering balls from everywhere approaching: they're fading, growing, shrinking, spinning with the wind as its blowing, rising, sinking, darting forward, sideways, ever changing, sometimes there's a glow, at other times a blaze… a strange kind of magic it is that permeates the mire's haze...

Who are they? What are they seeking? I wonder.

Where might they be going? Isn’t there any way of knowing?

About all those things I ponder.

Memories, haunting memories...
 

A strange encounter

Picture description. A magical encounter in the moors. Image drawn by Seeker.

…of the translucent orbs dancing, two, three, four, almost romancing the one who’s entered their abode, the intruder who’s panting, heavily gasping, he, who’s lost, his breath rattling, rasping, into an alluring, colorful world now tossed… the hovering balls continue to grow and to shrink, they radiate and blink, they soar, they whirl, sink back and swirl, beguile, bewitch, entice, and demand what’s their due: a volunteer, a soul, a sacrifice, all of these – to cover, to bury, to drown, only to leave… memories…

Memories… still lingering memories… as if they were fever driven fantasies...

…of gruesome remnants stemming from a long past slaughter… there: two lifeless faces bob up from below!... worm covered skulls of swamp claimed daughters tell a hideous tale of deathly woes... floating, starring, up into the night sky eyeless sockets are ghastly glaring… welcome stranger at our murky waters… welcome, they seem to say… see, what a wet, inviting grave this is? A final home for... memories?

Memories...

...of joining the pair in their forsaken misery… of gliding, sliding, slipping… of an unsure foot… over foul, slimy roots it’s hesitating, struggling, tripping…

Memories… memories…

...of being devoured by the dismal bog… of depths claiming the drowning by the boot… of the futile battle to still grasp just one saving rotten log… of meeting fate, dragged under by the deadly clasp of an unseen root…

Memories…

…of the putrid, gooey, reeking pool that had lain in waiting, baiting, and now grabs itself with vile delight the chosen, the pawn, the latest fool, to hand him over to eternal night… defeated, overpowered, sentenced… the prey is drawn towards the ugly maw of the abyss, where reluctantly it seeks entrance, in desperate hope that there’s one more world, just one more, right after this… a short struggle and a thing of the past he is...

A memory… one of many memories…

…aye, for that's what it must be, a memory: a lasting sensation, an unending thought... that what prevails when everything else returns to naught... a notion that abides when something's gone, something's lost, that still shines in the new dawn, after a link is broken, a frontier's been crossed… like this last one I can still see that I'm tempted to call...

A memory...

...aye, the last one of those... that makes me sense, as if through a veil, how something else has risen... as if torn, nay, more rescued from its earthly prison... aye, that's when... I... came to be, when… I... soared from the grisly waters... found myself drifting, the moonlight towards… up, up, away from the drowned stranger and those quiet daughters… softly I glowed, brilliantly I blazed, up and around, had become a dancing part of the luminous haze... which is when they end, the memories... which is when I emerged unbound and free, as that what I am and whatever I'm going to be – for days and decades, maybe centuries...

With me nothing but... memories...

What is it that they really mean? Sometimes at least it would seem that since the day I had risen what was left to me were all but visions... that I, myself, once had somehow walked this earth, and that I had to perish, only to be given birth... Like my brothers I've been ripped away on a moonlit night one fateful day... About what I've been I'm still dreaming, and that is all that gives me meaning…

Who are they? What are they seeking? I wonder.

Where might they be going? Isn’t there any way of knowing?

About all those things I ponder.
 


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Ghost story written by by Artimidor Federkiel View Profile